Social platforms like Twitch are giving video gamers a space to build communities around their passion, which also provides marketers with valuable opportunities to connect with highly engaged, niche audiences, Isabel Kunkle writes. "Celebrity gamers as influencers, customization and personalization and increased means of connection are all community features that organizations can tap into," she writes.
Nearly half of US consumers are purchasing from direct-to-consumer brands and shaking up the retail market, according to an IAB/Cassandra "Disrupting Brand Preference" study, which also noted that consumers are using brands for self-promotion and one in three of these shoppers are "Super Influencers" who post brand-centric content. "The differences between disruptor brand consumers and incumbent-only shoppers are stark," says IAB's Sue Hogan, noting that "[f]or disruptor brand consumers, social behaviors are calculated and deliberate, feeding their need for self-expression."
YouTube is rolling out a new set of tools to boost video monetization. Offerings include animated stickers that individuals can purchase from channel owners during pre-recorded videos and livestreams, paid Channel Memberships that YouTube Partner Program participants with 100,000 or more subscribers can sell for $4.99 per month, and merchandising programs for US businesses through new partners, including DFTBA, Crowdmade, Fanjoy, Rooster Teeth and Represent.
Axe teamed with Marvel to touts its Ice Chill range of products with a five-part digital video comic series featuring an original gang of high-school superheroes, "The Fresh-Men." The series features a hip-hop soundtrack available on Spotify and a cameo from actor and rapper SuperDuperKyle.
Jeep, with HighDive, has launched a campaign starring Jeremy Renner, which features the actor singing his own original tracks. The sixth annual "Summer of Jeep" push features three TV spots, a 60-second YouTube music video and the tagline, "Freedom to do it all."
NFL Sunday Ticket will remain a DIRECTV exclusive on the satellite service through the 2020-21 National Football League season, as the deadline has passed for either the league or DIRECTV parent AT&T to disengage from their agreement, The Athletic website reports. An earlier story from Sports Business Journal had pegged the deadline as the end of the upcoming season.
Viacom's Paramount Network will air "Sexy Beast," a 10-episode series that serves as a prequel to the 2000 film of the same name about a thief in London's criminal underground, the network announced, saying that the movie's screenwriters will act as co-executive producers. Paramount has ordered a growing number of original scripted series, including "Yellowstone," "68 Whiskey" and "Emily in Paris."
Wimbledon executives are looking to make the tennis tournament's archives available on digital platforms as well as on TV, creating opportunities for sponsorships beyond the two-week sporting event. A recent campaign recreated the 1980 Bjorn Borg-John McEnroe final with archive footage on Wimbledon's social channels.
The future of app development lies in immersive and wearable apps, progress web apps and conversational apps, a Gartner report says. The company has instituted a new category, the 2019 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Multiexperience Development Platforms, with platform provider OutSystems among this year's leaders.
JPMorgan Chase has pulled its "Plan Yourself Free" campaign, which features a couple on a volunteer vacation working with captive elephants following lobbying by PETA and World Animal Protection. "While we took great care in the filming, we learned more about the other side of elephant tourism and have ended the ad campaign," says JPMorgan's Jeff Pilarcik.
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